Using Baseplate Cooling to Improve Heat Dissipation

March 15, 2019 by Scott McMahan

When designing a power supply, designers are frequently forced to use a 300W product for a 100W design, according to Cincon. The reason for this is because, most of the time, the power supply has an issue with heat dissipation, which cannot be exhausted through heatsinks or the product casing, causing the temperature to rise.

To provide a solution to this design concern, since 2010, Cincon has developed baseplate related products to reduce the cost and size that end designs demand with all the advantages of the convection cooled products within the most reliable applications.

Comparison of Heat Dissipation Technology

Whatever the application, heat dissipation is one of the primary factors that allow a power supply to operate constantly in a safe condition. Most of the time, heat dissipation also determines the reliability of customer devices.

power supplies Cincon power supplies

When inserted into a closed and isolated end product, within the product case there are usually locations reserved for screw holes or copper pillars to fasten the power supply onto the device.

However, with high-density power modules, some of the design trade-offs do not aid the power supply's ability to efficiently dissipate heat to the end product's outer casing. Such design compromises may lead to rising temperatures that can ultimately damage essential components of the power supply.

High-density power supply with and without the outer casing

On the other hand, Cincon says with its baseplate-cooled module, the baseplate can have direct contact with the primary heat generating components, and serve as an effective outlet. This baseplate design helps resolve high-temperature issues internally.

The Benefits of Baseplate Cooling

Cincon points out that from the above explanation of baseplate cooling, we can now understand how power supplies designed with the company's baseplate product can efficiently tackle heat dissipation directly from the generating sources of the power module.

Such features will lower failure rates, and enhance the reliability of the power supply, according to Cincon. When coupled with appropriate heatsinks, lower power component temperature can ultimately achieve full output without adding cases to the power supply, Cincon asserts.

(click on charts to enlarge)

Although adding fans for cooling is another method for heat dissipation from the power supply that results in higher efficiency, fan failure, noise, and ingress of dust are concerns often encountered with such products.

In some situations where the power supply must operate 24/7, the fan can be the first point of failure.

While there are also other products that augment performance by adding casing to the power module, Cincon says that they usually yield minimal efficiency improvement.

Baseplate-Cooling Benefits

  • Effectively exhausts heat from within the power supply.
  • Lowers the failure rate of crucial components of the power supply.
  • Provides more flexible installation of the power supply.
  • Enables the power supply to withstand high-temperature environments.

Test Demonstration

Across the Cincon range of ac-dc baseplate products from 130W to 500W, one example can be demonstrated by testing the 200W power supply, CFM200M. The CFM200M series without a fan-based convection cooling has a rated output of 160W.

Cincon CFM200M power supply

However, with additional heat sinking instruments (they can be the end product's case or other heat dissipating modules), the power supply can achieve 200W without a fan.

The demonstration here used an extended 280mm x100mm x10mm aluminum plate with the CFM200M attached to the plate via screws. (See demo setup above)

Ultimately adding external heat sinks, enables the CFM200M to increase its output from 160W to 200W. Also, selected was the enclosed case version CFM200MXXXC as the test subject.

baseplate cooling demo diagram (click on image to enlarge)

According to its specifications, when the room temperature is under 40°C, it can deliver a 200W output. But when using the external aluminum plate as aid, the unit can still provide 200W even when room temperature increases to 50°C. Below diagram shows the two derating curves of the two testing results.


From the above example, we can understand that with an additional heat dissipating apparatus that is about 8 times larger in size than the power supply, we can obtain a 10°C higher room temperature limit. With the design of baseplate-cooled products, such as the CFM130M, CFM200M, CFM300M, and CFM361 series, Cincon says it can offer more flexible options to choose from for heat dissipation strategies.